Chicago Beers (J.H.) & Co..

Commemorative biographical record of New Haven county, Connecticut, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens and of many of the early settled families .. (Volume 1, pt.3) online

. (page 62 of 94)
Online LibraryChicago Beers (J.H.) & Co.Commemorative biographical record of New Haven county, Connecticut, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens and of many of the early settled families .. (Volume 1, pt.3) → online text (page 62 of 94)
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'SI. : Mt. \'ernon Chapter. R. A. M. : and the \'eter-
an Masons' Association.

BENJAMIN L. BRONSON, a leading agri-
culturist of Wolcott, is a worthy descendant of an
old and honored New England family, which was
established in this country by John Bronson. an carlv
settler of Cambridge, Mass. In 1636 he came with
Rev. Mr. Hooker's colony to Hartford, Conn., and



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COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



1033



i\-,- fullowing year took part in the Pequot war.
lie removed to what is now Farmington, Conn.,
ill 1641, and was one of the seven pillars of the
church, which was organized at that place in 1652.
He died Nov. 28, 1680. His children were Jacob,
born in January, 1641 ; John, born in January, 1644;
Isaac, born in November, 1645 ; ^lary ; Abraham,
a resident of Lyme, Conn.; Dorcas, wife of Stephen
Hopkins; and Sarah.

John Bronson (2 J was born in Hartford, and
removed with his parents to Farmington. but later
came to Alattatuck, now Waterbury, where he spent
the remainder of his life. He had seven children,
whose names and years of birth were as follows :
John (3), 1670; Sarah, 1672 : Dorothy. 1675; Eben-
e?er. 1677; \Villiam, 1682; Moses, 1686; and Grace,
1689.

John Bronson (3) was born in Waterbury, in
1670, and there grew to manhood, but subsequently
he removed to Southington, Conn., where he spent
the remainder of his life. In January. 1697, he
married Rachel Buck, of Wethersfield, Conn., and
to. them were liorn the following children : John',
Nov. 21, 1698; David, Aug. 9, 1704: Jonathan,
May 14, 1706; Joseph, June 15, 1708; Rachel, July
6. 1710; ^lary, Jan. 30, 1712; and James, Nov.

^9- 1713-

Jonathan Bronson. son of John (3). spent his
entire life in Southington, dying there Aug. 20,
1751. He was married. May 17, 1732, and had ten
children: Asahel. born Oct. 25, 1733; John, in
1735; Ann, :March 30, 1737: Abigail. Feb. 18.
1739; Jonathan, Dec. 24, 1740; a son (who died
unnamed), Jan. 20, 1743: Zadac, Aug. 7, 1745;
Huldah. April 18, 1747; Lois. Jan. 6, 1749; and
Isaac. June 20, 1751.

John Bronson, son of Jonathan, was born and
reared in Southington, and when a young man came
to Wolcott, where he owned a farm. He was a
liard working man and made farming his life occu-
pation. He died Nov. 10. 1838, at the age of 103
years, 3 months and 25 days, and was buried in
\\'olcott. On March 30, 1758, he married Sarah
Barnes, who was born Sept. 27. 1732. and died
Dec. 17, 1804. For his second wife he married
Mrs. Curtis Hall. Fie had six children: Joel, who
was born March 9, 1759, and lived in Burlington,
Conn. ; Isaac, born July 19, 1761 ; Benjamin Barnes,
who was born Aug. 19, 1763, and lived in South-
ington ; Philenor. who was baptized April 21. 1766;
Hannah: and John, born Jan. 31, 1776.

John Bron.>im, the youngest of this familv and
the grandfather of our subject, was a lifelong resi-
dent of Wolcott. and was one of its prominent and
intluential citizens, taking an active part in town
and county affairs ^nd doing all in his power to
promote the general welfare. He was a soldier of
'he war of 1812. He married Hannah Root, of
f'armington. (Totin.. who was born Feb. 14. 1781.
^I'jd died Feb. 24, 1853. while his death occurred
Nov. 25, 1S66, and the remains of both were interred



at Wolcott. Their children were .F.rvis Root, born
April 5, 1808; Sarah Ann, who was born .April i,

181 1, and married George W. Carter; Stillman. the
i father of our subject; Pitkin, born May 2, 1815;

and Sarah Maria, who was born June 18, 1823, and
■ died Sept. 5, 1827.

Stillman Bronson, father of our subject, was
born on the old homestead in Wolcott Sept. 11,

1812, and was provided with a good district school
education. He followed farming on the place owned
b> R. Carter, a tract of 150 acres, upon which he

i made many improvements, and he was also inter-
I ested in stock raising. His political support was
; first given the Whig party and later the Republican
party, and in his church relations he was a Con-
i gregationalist. A man of industrious habits, up-
j right and honorable in all his dealings, he com-
manded the respect and confidence of all with whom
he came in contact, and was held in high regard.
] He died in 1891, and was laid to rest in Northeast
cemetery. He married Charlotte R. Lindsley, who
was born Dec. 21, 1816, a daughter of Lud and
Hannah (Gaylord) Lindsley, and granddaup-hter of
Benjamin and Keturah (Anger) Lindsley, of Bris-
tol. She is still living with our subject on the old
homestead, and is one of the oldest ladies of Wol-
cott. She is a good, consistent Caristian, and pos-
sesses an excellent memory\ Her children are as
follows: Emerson R., who was born March 21,
1841, and died Feb. 21, 1846: Lucy S., who was
born June 26, 1843. and was married. Oct. 31, 1867,
to Benjamin C. Lum, now of New Haven: Harriet
L., who was born Dec. 7, 1844, and died Nov. 10,
.1869; E. Bruce, who was born Feb.' 23, 1847, and
died Oct. 7, 1862: Benjamin L., our subject, who
was born Julv 16, 1849; Elliott, who w.'ls born
May 13, 185 1 : Esther L. M., who was born July
16, 1854, and died Oct. 25, 1869; and Edith M., who
was born Nov. i, i860, married Cornelius Tracy
and resides in Waterbury.

During his boyhood Benjamin L. Bronson, our
subject, attended the district schools, and. as soon
as large enough to be of any assistance, he began
to aid in the operation of the home farm, never
leaving the parental roof. Since his father's death
he has entire charge of the place, and is now suc-
cessfully engaged in dairy and general farming,
also stock raising. Enterprising and public-spirited,
he takes a deep interest in the public welfare, and
has most capably and satisfactorily filled the of-
fices of selectman and member of the board of re-
lief. He is a deacon in the Congregational Church,
and merits and receives the respect and esteem of
all who know him.

WILLIAM E. CL'RTISS, a veteran of the Civil
war, is a leading wagon manufacturer of Ansonia,
who, of late years, has found it necessary to re-
strict his business to orders, his general trade ex-
ceeding his facilities. Plis shop is well equipped
for all kinds of work, and in addition to the man-



I034



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



ufrxture of wnc^ons ho cnrricv on a general busi-
ness as a iiorse sheer, being now the oldest black-
smith in the town. As a self-made man and a most
highly esteemed citizen his biography will be of
special interest.

Mr. Curtiss was horn May 28, 1850, in X'ew-
town, Conn., where his ancestors were early set-
tlers. Ezra Curtiss, our subject's gmndfather. was
a farmer in Xewtown and lived to a good old age.
William Curtiss, the father of our subject, was born
and reared at the old homestead in Xewtown, and
learned the tinner's trade, which he followed for
some years. In 1862 he enlisted in Co. C, 17th
Conn. V. I., as a private, and 'he died in the service
at the age of fifty years. His wife, Sarah Fowler,
a native of Philadelphia, died aged forty-five years.
They had six children, of whom five are living,
as follows : Ellen, who married David Downs ;
William E.. who has been twice married: Georgia
F., deceased: Theodore . D.. unmarried: Katie
E., who married Clarence Clatchley : and Sylvia
A., who became Mrs. Soliday.

The early education of \\illiam E. Curtiss was
secured in the common schools of Xewtown. In
1864, at the age of fourteen, he enlisted as a private
in the Third Battery, and served until the close
of the war, much of the time having been spent on
the breast works at Petersburg. Upon his return
to the Xorth in 1865, he learned the blacksmith's
trade in Oxford. X'ew Haven county, serving an
apprenticeship of three years and eleven months
with Xicholas French. He then worked as a jour-
neyman for a short time for Wesley Cowan, in the
town of Trufnbull, but later returned to Oxford
and worked two years for Mr. French, when the
"freshet" broke up the business. In 1875 he lo-
cated at Arsonia, and after working one year for
French & Mackey he engaged in business with Peter
B. Mackey, continuing two years. His next ven-
ture was the opening of the "Colburn Shop," which
he conducted three years, and he built his present
shop at the corner of Jackson and Holbrook streets.

Oct. 13, 1873. ^^'■- Curtiss married Miss ]\Iartha
Tuttle, a native of Huntington and daughter of
Marvin Tuttle, a well known farmer. She was
a consistent member of the Methodist Church for
some years previous to her death, which occurred
May 6, 1891, at the age of thirty-seven. C)n Jiuie
15, 1893, Mr. Curtiss married Miss Zenia E. Burr,
who was born in Southbury, a daughter of Erastus
Burr, a prominent citizen. Mr. Curtiss has two
children, both by the first marriage: Edward M.,
now in business with his father, mirried. Oct. 12,
■ 1899, Miss Evelyn T. Braley, daughter of Wesley
Braley, of Derby. Conn. ; and Xettie C. is at home.
Politically our subject is a stanch Republican, but
his only ofificial service consisted of one year as
constable. In his religious views he is liberal,
and his wife belongs to the Episcopal Church. Mr.
Curtiss is actively identillcd with a number of fra-
ternal organizations, including the K. of P., the



A. O. U. W'., an.l T. M. Fvc.lshaw. Post, Xo. 75, G.
A. R., in which he now holds the office of com-
mander, and has held other positions in the past.



Among the en-



CORXELIUS W. MUXSOX.
ergetic, enterprising and successful citizens of Bea-
con Falls, none stands higher in public esteem thaa
the subject of this sketch, who follows both car-
pentering and farming. A native of Xew Haven
county, he was born in Waterbury Sept. 14, 1846.
and is the only child of Cornelius and Polly (Wel-
ton) !Munson, the former born in the town of
Oxford, the latter in Waterbury. In early life the
father followed the occupation of farming, but later
worked as a mechanic in Waterbury, where he died
six months before the birth of our subject. He was
a Whig in politics. The mother died Feb. 12, 1885,
at the age of seventy years.

When Cornelius W. Munson was five years old
his mother married again and removed from Water-
bury to a farm in Wolcott, where he grew to man-
hood, his education being acquired in the schools
'of the neighborhood. Returning to Waterbury, he
learned the carpenter's trade, which he followed
at that place for five years, and then came to what
is now the town of Beacon Falls, but which at that
time was known as Oxford, where he worked at his
trade for the same length of time. The following
year he operated his step- father's farm in Wolcott..
and then returned to Beacon Falls, where he has
since worked at his trade in connection with farm-
ing, owning and cultivating a valuable place of 135
acres, a mile and a half from the village of Beacon
Falls.

On Dec. 26. 1869. Mr. Munson was married
to ]\Iiss Jennie L. Osborn, a native of Bethany, this
county, and a daughter of George and Cynthia
(Brooks) Osborn, well known farming people. Fra-
ternally our subject is a member of Court High
Rock, Foresters of America, of Beacon Falls, and
religiously is a member of the Episcopal Church.
He affiliates with the Democratic party, and for the
past ten years has been a selectman, with the ex-
ception of a year or two, now serving as first se-
lectman. He is also a member of the school board,
has filled other local offices, and twice represented
his town in the State Legislature in a most credit-
able and acceptable manner. He is genial, courte-
ous, enterprising and progressive, of commendable
public spirit, and reflects credit on the community
which has honored him with office.

JOHX E. LUNDIX, manager and treasurer of
the X'augatuck Co-Operative Co., is one of the lead-
ing and influential Swedish-American citizens of
X'augatuck. He was born in Lilla Hestra, Sweden,
May 17. 1859. and is a son of Peter and Gustam
('Magnuson) Erickson, natives of the same place.
The father was a contractor and builder, and also
a farmer in the old country, where he has spent
his entire life. The mother died in January, 18S1.



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



1035



Tlic graiulfatlier of our subject was an agricult-
urist, and the great-grandfather was a soldier.

John E. Lundin is the eldest in a family of seven
children, the others being ]\Iary, who died in in-
fancy; Joseph, a contractor and builder in Sweden;
Mary (2d), wife of Alfred Magnuson. a blacksmith
of Lafayette, Ind. ; Annie, wife of ^I. Peterson, a
farmer of Sweden ; Sehna, wife of August Fredell ;
and Xathnael, a contractor, builder and cabinet-
maker, who married Hulda Alagnuson.

During his boyhood JMr. Lundin attended the
common schools of his native land, and when his
education was completed worked with his father at
the carpenter's trade. In the spring of 18S0 he
bade good-liy to home and friends, and came to
the United States, first locating in Pennsylvania,
where he worked as a laborer for a time. Removing
to Portland, Conn., he worked in a shipyard there
for one season : was next employed in a clock shop
at Thoniaston, this State, one winter; and for two
months again worked in the same shipyard at Port-
land. In 1881 he came to L'nion City, this count}',
and was in the emplo}' of W. H. K. Godfrey, a man-
ufacturer of novelties, for a few months, at the end
of which time he secured a position in the Xauga-
tuck Malleable Iron Foundr}-, where he worked for
fourteen years. On the formation of the Xaugatuck
Co-Operative Co. he became manager and treasurer,
and is still filling those offices to the entire satis-
faction of the company. He is an upright, reliable
business man, painstaking and energetic, as well as
progressive and enterprising, and to these char-
acteristics may be attributed his success in life.

Mr. Lundin was married. Dec. 24, 1881, to Miss
Ida C. Johnson, also a native of Sweden, and to
them have been born two children, Alice A. and
Ernest E. Our subject casts his ballot with the
Republican party, but takes no active part in pol-
itics, and when nominated burgess of Xaugatuck
refused the honor, ijreferring to devote his undi-
vided attention to his business interests. He has
served as grand juror, however. He belongs to a
local Swedish society, and is a prominent member
of the Swedish Lutheran Church of X'augatuck,
which he was instrumental in founding, and in
which he has since served as deacon and also or-
ganist (gratuitously) lor many years.

CLAREXCE WALES WILLIAMS, a progres-
sive and enterprising farmer of Cheshire, X'ew Ha-
ven county, was born in Manchester. Hartford Co.,
Conn., March IQ, 1842. and is of English descent,
being a lineal descendant in the eighth generation
of Robert Williams. His paternal grandfather,
William Williams, was a farmer of Lebanon, Conn.,
where he was born Aug. 2, 1762. He was a soldier
in both the Revolutionary war and the war of 1812.
His second wife, Lydia, was a daughter of Joseph
Loomis. a fanner of Lebanf^n. Their son.

William Chaimcev Williams, father of Clarence
W., was born in Lebanon Oct. 22,, iSoo, and was



reared and educated there. He became quite a
prominent physician and surgeon at Manchester,
Hartford county, where he continued in practice up
to the time of his death, which occurred Oct. 6,
1857. In Abhford, Conn., he married Julia White
Cook, a native of that place, who died in Han-
ford July 19. 1875. at the age of sixty-seven. To
them were born four children, namely: William
C, a physician, who died in Cheshire in 1895 ; Aaron
W. C., a resident of Hartford, who is connected
v.'ith the Capewell Horse Xail Co. ; Julia Elizabeth,
who married H. C. Burgess, and died in Aliddle-
town, Conn.; and Clarence Wales. Aaron Cook,
the maternal grandfather of our subject, was a
blacksmith of Ashford. He married Elizabeth
White, and to them were born two children, Julia
\Vhite and Aaron.

Clarence Wales Williams received his educa-
tion in the schools of Manchester, Hartford coun-
ty, passing his boyhood in that town. He has al-
ways followed farming, and for a time he also
worked for George S. Lincoln & Co., of the Phcenix
Iron Works at Hartford. Since 1864 he has made
his home in Cheshire, and has been actively identi-
fied with, its agricultural interests. He is a stanch
supporter of the Republican partv. and has most
efficiently served as district or school committeeman.

In 1864, in Cheshire, Mr. Williams married ]\Iiss
Sarah ElizaJieth Booth, a native of that town, and
a daughter of X'athan and Sally (Ives) JBooth, who
were also born there. The father, who was a civil
engineer, died in Cheshire in 1886, the mother in
June. 1876. In their family were four children:
Mary, who married Horace Brooks, and died in
Xew Haven; Ann, who died unmarried; Isaac, who
died young; and Sarah E., wife of our subject.
Mr. and ^ilrs. Williams have one child, Elizabeth
Booth, who was born in Cheshire July 13, 1865,
and is now the wife of Samuel L. X^orton, of
Cheshire. They have two children — Birdsey, now
(1901) nine years of age; and Ruth, aged seven.

JOSEPH FREEBERG, a prominent and thor-
oughly representative Swedish citizen of Branford,
a mold'er by trade, was born July 26, i860, in
Mossebo. \'estergatand. Sweden, son of Andreas
and Sarah (Peterson) Freeberg.

Mr. Freeberg was reared in his native town, re-
maining there until he reached the age of fifteen
years, and received a somewhat limited education
in the local schools. He served an eight-year ap-
prenticeship at the trade of glass blowing in the
town of Alossebo, and in Stenenge, Halland, Swe-
den. When his apprenticeship was finished and hi.s
trade was mastered Mr. Freeberg determined to
-eek a new liome in the United States, where so
many of his countrymen had tried their fortunes
with satisfactory results. Leaving his native coun-
try, he landed in due time in X'ew York City ^ilay
22. 1880. and thence came directly to Connecticut.
For a time he followed various vocations, and



1036



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



-worked in dilYe'-ent localities until iSSi, when he
located in ^kleriden, working at the molder's trade
there for a number of years, This was his voca-
tion in Naugatuck and Bridgeport, Conn., and at
\\'ilmington, Del. In iSqo he came to Branford,
where he has resided to the present time. On his
arrival there he secured employment in the Alalle-
able Iron Works, and has never sought another sit-
uation.

Mr. Freeberg was married. JMarch 29, 1884, to
Anna, daughter of Xels Peter Xelson. of Skone,
Sweden, and has one daughter, Josephine Amelia.
^Ir. Freeberg is a member of the Swedish Lutheran
Church of Branford, and his upright character and
straightforward integrity are highly valued, not
only by his associates in the church, but by all who
have come to know him in the community. He
holds membership in Centennial Lodge, Xo. icx),
I. O. O. F., of Xaugatuck : the Xew England Or-
der of Protection ; and the Molders L^nion, X'o. 82,
■of Branford. In politics he has from the first
•espoused the cause of the Republican party.

WILLIAM PATRICK WILSOX, M. D., was
"born March 6, 1837. in Mortreal, Canada, a son
of John Wilson, who was born in the County of
Durham, England, and who married Miss Mary
Ann McCarthy in Z^Iontreal, Canada. Coming to
this country, he enlifted in the L'nion army, and
-vva.-, killed at the battle of Fort Fisher. John Wil-
son was a man of extensive military experience,
and had served in both the English army and navy.
At the time of his enlistment he was connected with
the ^\"atertown Arsenal. He was sergeant of a
company in the 12th j\Iass. \'olunteer Cavalry at
the time of his death, in 1864, two years after the
lemoval of his family to Boston from Montreal.

William Patrick Wilson obtained his early edu-
cation in the Boston schools. At the age of seven-
teen he began the study of music, to which he de-
voted nearly seven years. When twenty-eight years
of age he took up in earnest the studv of medicine,
to which he had long been inclining, and made it
"his life work. For two years his brother, John
J. Wilson, a well-known physician of Bristol, was
his preceptor, and in 1887 he entered the College of
Piiysicians and Surgeons, at Baltimore, from which
he graduated with honor in March, i8yo. After
three months' service in the Baltimore hospitals he
•came to Wallingford to engage in his profession,
and in a surprisingly brief time had established him-
self in the confidence and respect of the community.
The success which attended him in several exceed-
ingly difficult operations did much to make him
ki'.own as a surgeon of high merit.

Dr. Wilson is a Democrat, was appointed health
officer in 1895. and is now serving his second term.
In i8r;»8 he was elected school visitor for three years.
He is a member rif the State and Coiirtv Medical
Societies, and is enrolled with the Hibernians,
Knights of Columbus, Ancient Ortler of Foresters



and T. A. B. In religion he is a member of the
Holy Trinity (Roman Catholic) Church. He is a
hard student, and is determined to keep up with
his profession if wide reading and close study can
avail. In youth he was a hard student, averaging
fifteen hours a day with his books.

Dr. Wilson was married, Oct. 9, 1895, to Miss
Elizabeth D. Flynn. of Hartford, daughter of Daniel
Flynn, one of the leading grocers of that citv for
many years. Their union has. been blessed with
the following children: William Xorbert, born
July 21, 18(16; Mary Elizabeth. Xov. 7, 1898: and
Rose Genevieve, April 29, 1900.

AIRS. CLARA BEISIEGEL, nee Schwartz-
weher, is well known and highly respected through-
out the town of Woodbridge, Xew Haven county,
where she has made her liome for almost half a
century. She was born July 17, 1830, in Bavaria,
Germany, and possesses many of the admirable
characteristics of the Teutonic race which make
them so thrifty and contented a people.

Matthias Sclnvartzweller, the father of Mrs.
Beisiegel, was born in the Province of Bavaria in
1798, son of John, and Margaret Schwartzweller,
who spent their entire lives there. The grandfather
of our subject was an extensive farmer and proper-
ty owner, and her father also followed agricultural
pursuits in his native province until called to his
final rest, in 1886. He married Christina Hans,
who was born in Bavaria in 1799. and died in 1857.
Mrs. Beisiegel is the eldest of their children, the
others being Jacob, wdio remained in Germanv ;
Mary, wife of Frederick Schlechtweg, of Bristol,
Conn.; Peter, who died in Bristol, Conn.; Adam,
now deceased, who was a resident of X'ew York
City; Margaret, who married Matthias Glade, and
died in that citv; and John, who also died in X'ew
York.

Airs. Beisiegel was reared and educated in her
native land, and in 1853 emigrated to the L'nited
States, locating in Maine, where she secured em-
ployment. Being unable to give up thoughts of
the Fatherland, she soon returned to Germany, but
after visiting her old home she again crossed the
ocean, landing in Xew York. X'ot long afterward,
at the age of twenty-six, she was united in marriage
with Jacob Beisiegel, also a native of Germany,
who was bom Dec. 25, 1827, in Hessen-Darmstadt,
son of Philip and Katlierine ( Miller) Beisiegel,
who had thirteen children. Philip Beisiegel. father
of Jacob, was a farmer and property owner, and
was engaged in agriculture imtil his death, which
occurred before his son emigrated to this country.
Mrs. Katherine Beisiegel. mother of Jacob, came
to this country late in life with several of her chil-
dren, making her home in Buft'alo, X. Y.. until
she died, at the age of seventy-nine years. Coming
to America in 1854. Mr. Beisiegel found eniplov-
ment in Red Bank. .\. J., for about six months, and
then came to Woodbridge, where he was employed



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a^ttiu^




COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



1037



on a farm about two years. He next went to Xew
York City for a while, was married there in Jan-
uary, 1857, and with his wife eame to W'oodbridsje,
where he rented a small farm. In i860 he bouji^ht
the farm situated in the northwestern part of the
town, near Alilford meadow. In 1870 lie also
bought the Giles Perkins farm, where he and his
wife spent the greater part of their lives, and where
his youngest son now lives. Mr. I'eisiegel died



Online LibraryChicago Beers (J.H.) & Co.Commemorative biographical record of New Haven county, Connecticut, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens and of many of the early settled families .. (Volume 1, pt.3) → online text (page 62 of 94)